Losers’ sour grapes; an oblique warning to the winners



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By PRAYING MANTIS


It is all over, bar the shouting. The people of this resplendent isle have given their considered verdict at the local government elections. It is a wave that has spread virtually through the entire country and taken everybody by surprise. There was no coercion, no major promotional endeavours, no cutouts or posters, no false promises and no shouting from the rooftops. The people have, though very quietly and on their own, provided a telling blow to the current Yahapalanaya administration. In a concerted move from right round this island, a very genuine gesture of discontent has been handed to the said administration. However, warnings of public unhappiness and frustration were there even before this election. But the powers that be were totally oblivious to them. That is a malady that particularly affects power-hungry politicians.


It is now the aftermath of that beacon-like gesture of utter dissatisfaction that we must consider. The ultimate losers, there are at least three major conglomerates of them, are on a crash course to generally play down their misfortune and even further vilify the winners. Over the last few days, quite a few of these bad losers have been quoting numbers to say that the winners have actually lost their total following by a significant reduction in the numbers of people who voted for them. It was Mark Twain who popularized the saying "There are three kinds of lies; Lies, damned lies and statistics". It is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster utterly weak arguments. This is exactly what the losers, including some Ministers of the present administration, are up to. Definitely, a sour grapes phenomenon. Surely they must be continuing to believe that the masses are a set of morons. We would like to remind them and reiterate the immortal statement by no less a person than Abraham Lincoln; "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."


What these miserable, wretched and pitiable set of losers should have done is to graciously accept the supreme verdict of the people of our motherland and say that they did make mistakes. That would have been a cardinal sign of repentance and even goodwill towards our people, whom they claim to love, admire and safeguard. The populace of this country would have been so very receptive to such an occurrence. After all, to err is human. The people of this country, who follow great religions, which unequivocally espouse forgiveness, would have taken very kindly to those sentiments. The losers should have had the courage to say that there will be changes in the administration and their attitudes. They should have promised to get rid of the so called henchmen with socially unacceptable deviant behaviour patterns, who enjoyed the privileges of the inner sanctum of the government simply by virtue of their so called right royal lineage. They should also think of indicating to the masses that they will not be allowed to be manipulated by politicians of the past, well beyond their prime and who are not in contact with reality. There is no point whatsoever in appointing committees to solve the problems. We have had enough of these "committees" over the last few years. All these foolish set of losers needs to do is to give a solemn pledge to the people that they will look after the farmers and that they will try their best to alleviate the sufferings of ordinary people. The admirable attempt to provide Wi-Fi to the country is not to provide the opportunities for boyfriends and girlfriends to talk for hours. It is to enhance and catalyze development and connectivity for much more important things. Let us make our country self-sufficient in food and everything else, including being hubs of this and that, will definitely come in good time. We must reiterate that warnings of public unhappiness and frustration were there even before this election. But the powers that be were totally oblivious to them. It is time to wake up. There are two more years to try and rectify, and even mitigate, the wrong-doings of the last three years.


This so called victory has some implications for the winners too. They have to mind their mouth, so to speak. The initial request by them to celebrate the victory in a very peaceful manner was so laudable. However, they have to have the guts and the commitment to make sure that it was implemented. If any of their flock deviated from the request, the entire might of the winners should have come down on them like a ton of bricks. Immediately after that proclamation to celebrate peacefully, what did they do? They asked for a general election. They should have known that the statute does not allow it at this stage of the age of the current administration. The winners have to realize that this victory is not the ‘be all and end all’ of everything. It was just an indication of displeasure on the part of the general public of this country. It does not guarantee a broader and all sweeping win in a general election.


Well, the winners too have many a skeleton in their cupboard. They too have to come before the people and say that they have made mistakes in the past. To be quite honest, these were alleged to be grave crimes. True that they have not been proven, but the people of this country are well aware of it. The downfall of the present winners, three years ago, was purely due to the involvement of undesirables in the inner circle of their administration and of course family bandyism. The sure-fire charisma of the main man is not in doubt at all. He might even be able to sell wool to sheep. He has to make sure that such a gift is made use of for the betterment of this country and its people. It is time to say mea culpa. The possible rewards are well worth it.


We have a proposition to make for the future. Any governing administration should attempt to get rid of henchmen, hangers-on, geriatric administrators from the past who are well past their prime, and bankrupt politicians from the past. Let the main person in the administration form a ‘THINK TANK’ of the reputed, unbiased intelligentsia of this country. Those chosen few have to be of unquestionable integrity, completely politically non-partisan, and with impeccable professional qualifications. No old school-tie types and no family bandyism. They should be completely fearless in expressing their thoughts and assessments. Let them meet the top man once a month and thrash out the current events and concerns. It is up to the top man to take the advice or leave it. The Think Tank would be a sounding board and the members will tell the top man, or for that matter the top woman, what they really think about a given problem.


Will the politicians read and act on what has been written in this article? The writer has very serious doubts about such an unlikely event. They generally are a law unto themselves and completely impervious to everything else. This is of course only while they are in power. When they lose, they will go down on their knees but would generally desist from saying ‘through my fault’.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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